Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Beefeater’s owners, Pernod-Ricard has announced that iconic Master Distiller of Beefeater Gin and Gin Guild lifetime achievement award winner will in January 2023 take on the role of Master Distiller Emeritus.

This is the first such position ever created by the group and is in recognition of the outstanding contribution Desmond has made in his 55 years in distilling.

Desmond will be taking a step back from day-to-day production giving him time to support the business in other ways, including hosting VIP experiences for Beefeater.

All of us at the Gin Guild congratulate Desmond on this appointment, and wish him well.

Alexandre Ricard said:

Desmond Payne is the kind of living legend you hope will never step back, but after 55 years of contributing to the success of our gins, our Master Distiller has earned a well-deserved retirement.

He will become our first-ever Master Distiller Emeritus for Beefeater Gin and keep on inspiring other generations of gin lovers and spirits professionals.